Subaru Impreza 2.0i-S a thoroughly tempting small car that combines excellent value, quality, comfort and smart technology.
What is it?
What’s it cost?
The 2017 Subaru Impreza range kicks off with the Impreza 2.0i from $24,990 plus on road costs and climbs to the value-packed Impreza 2.0i-S which is priced from $33,250 plus on road costs.
We sampled the flagship Impreza 2.0i-S and we were well, impressed by the levels of standard equipment. Impreza 2.0i-S customers are treated to leather seats with front seat heating, dual zone climate control and Subaru’s EyeSight technology which includes adaptive cruise control, autonomous emergency braking and lane keep assist. A reversing camera and front and rear parking sensors are also standard fare.
There’s also a touchscreen infotainment system with satellite navigation and Bluetooth audio and Subaru has also incorporated a clever little feature that tells you how much fuel you’ve saved when the start/stop system has shut down the engine whilst the car is stationary. Nifty.
What’s it go like?
The entire 2017 Subaru Impreza range is powered by a 2.0 litre naturally-aspirated four-cylinder Boxer engine that produces 115kW @ 6000rpm and 196Nm @ 4000rpm. The engine is married to a continuously variable transmission (CVT) with seven-gear like “steps” that drives all four wheels.
The Boxer engine’s hallmarks are quietness, smoothness and refinement. A part from some noise on cold start up and hard acceleration, the engine is pretty hushed in normal proceedings and a huge step up from the peppy but sometimes coarse Corolla.
Power delivery is also creamy and linear and the CVT feels more like a traditional automatic. And should you choose, you can flick through those seven artificial gears via paddles on the steering wheel.
Whilst not lethargic, the Impreza’s performance can feel a little underwhelming at times, and on occasion you find yourself prodding the accelerator harder than you thought necessary. This can become apparent when climbing steep hills or when attempting to overtake quickly.
Subaru’s EyeSight driver assist technologies keep you safe and they take the monotony out of long freeway runs. You can feel the lane keep assist centre you between the lines and the adaptive cruise control is quick to identify and adjust to its surroundings.
Subaru claims that combined fuel consumption is 7.2 litres per 100 kilometres and but we found 9.0 litres on the combined cycle to be more on point.
Ride and handling are safe, predictable and comfortable. The suspension irons out virtually all road imperfections to the point where it’s almost luxurious. But this luxury ride doesn’t adversely affect the handling. The handling is well balanced and the steering is well weighted and turns in crisply, but it isn’t overtly sporty.
What’s it like inside?
The Impreza 2.0i-S interior matches the rest of the package: refined, composed and poised. The cabin is spacious, and the use of materials is excellent, with all surfaces satisfying to the touch and are certainly a cut above the materials used throughout the Civic’s cabin.
The seats are soft whilst being supportive and head, leg and shoulder room are great up front and head room up the back is good too, with legroom being respectable for a car of this class.
The dash design is a little conservative, but everything is easy to find, and you’ll quickly decipher the menus in the infotainment system. On the subject of the infotainment system, whilst everything was very user friendly – and the stereo wasn’t half bad either – some of the graphics looked cheap, and the screen had a tendency to freeze when we were streaming music via Bluetooth.
What we like:
- Drive experience
What we don’t:
- Engine can be a little wheezy
- Infotainment system froze on occasion
- Lane keep assist can be disconcerting at times
- Can be a little thirsty
Sale or no sale?
Yes. The whole Subaru Impreza 2.0i-S package feels a lot more expensive than the $33k odd price tag suggests. It’s well equipped, intelligent, refined, beautifully made and worthy of your hard earned.